November 28, 2011

Don’t Miss: Videos and Stories from OBOS’s 40th Anniversary Global Women’s Health Symposium

Did you miss the 40th Anniversary global women’s health symposium at Boston University back in October? If so — or if you just want to relive the day (yes, it was that awesome) — we’ve edited and posted videos from the symposium on YouTube. Take a look and feel free to post and share these presentations.

The list of speakers includes:

  • Byllye Avery, founder of the Avery Institute for Social Change and the National Black Women’s Health Project, on the impact of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”
  • Adrienne Germain, president emerita of the International Women’s Health Coalition, on the challenges and opportunities for our health and human rights.
  • Sam Morgan Lilienfeld and Judah Rome, sons of OBOS founders Pamela Morgan and Esther Rome, on growing up with feminist mothers.
  • Sally Whelan, program director for the OBOS Global Initiative, discusses the efforts involved working with groups around the world that are adapting “Our Bodies, Ourselves” for their own communities.
  • Ayesha Chatterjee, program manager for the OBOS Global Initiative, introduces the organization’s global partners.
  • Loretta Ross, founder and national coordinator of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, delivers a rousing closing keynote filled with personal stories and political wisdom. Don’t miss this.

Plus there are welcomes by Massachusetts Gov. Patrick Deval, Robert Meenan, dean of the Boston University School of Public Health, and Judy Norsigian and Zobeida Bonilla, OBOS executive director and OBOS Latina health initiative coordinator. And it’s emceed by the one and only Jaclyn Friedman.

And, of course, there are the stories from OBOS’s global partners — women from Tanzania, Israel, Turkey, Senegal, Nepal, Japan, Puerto Rico, India, Bulgaria, Serbia and Armenia who shared their extraordinary journeys transforming “Our Bodies, Ourselves” into different texts and languages, sparking movements and change in their own countries. Along with U.S. participants — including myself and SPARK’s Dana Edell, they address the successes and challenges of the global women’s health movement in three panel discussions on YouTube.

Learn more about the symposium, which also celebrated the launch of the brand new edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” Even those of us who expected great things came away more emotionally overwhelmed (in a good way) than we could have imagined. Hearing how groups literally created words for women’s bodies that didn’t exist, or how they dealt with harassment, threats and other obstacles to sharing accurate information about women’s reproductive health and sexuality, are stories that stay with you. We hope these videos can be used to educate and inspire.

Here’s Byllye Avery on women’s health and self-knowledge before the publication of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” It sets the stage for everything that happened (and will happen) as a result.


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